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Artists have an innate desire to produce art and to show it. But the days when artists went to gallery owners with their portfolios and works are long gone. Instead, they are trying to organize their own small exhibitions and are now using the opportunities of the digital world to do so. Countless artists and numerous art groups in the social media are jostling for support and, above all, for collectors. And while many traditional galleries still long for the analog world, artists and collectors are coming together digitally.
Digitization has shaken up the art market. The classic business and role models are largely unhinged. It seems that the art and culture industry has lost its order in many cases. Yet the art business is in good company. Like newspaper publishers, galleries have been in the midst of digital transformation for years. To date, neither industry has found a digital business model that can compensate for the loss of readers, collectors and sales.
Many people secretly long for the good old days, when newspapers were made of paper and artists and collectors could be reached in the closed store. And no matter how loyal the collectors are, all galleries are struggling with the digital transformation. They are not afraid of it (as is often assumed), they simply have no recipes.
Very successful online art platforms have been entering the market for many years. They exist mostly exclusively online and are in direct competition with the classic, medium-sized art galleries in the cities, which can hardly afford the high rents in the art metropolises. In order to secure their existence, they try to hold on to "old" artists who have proven successful, or they exclusively exhibit art that follows current fashion trends. The quality of the offerings ultimately suffers as a result. This in turn does not escape even the most loyal art collector. Only a few gallery owners manage the balancing act, manage to survive.
It is a real challenge for gallery owners of our time to successfully find and maintain a place in the gallery market - including the digital world. But it is certainly possible if galleries open up and show courage. You can find wonderful artists on social media who are grateful for a gallery that represents their interests and supports them in publishing their work. And these are not just talented newcomers. Even renowned artists who are already exhibiting and selling worldwide can be found here. The art of the gallery is called "cherry picking" and bundling. Local art trade today takes place worldwide. True to the motto "All Business is local Business", modern galleries can serve the local and at the same time the worldwide art collector market. Works of art are sold in the local gallery or even sent on a trip to Tel Aviv. Thanks to social media.
The basis for the "local art trade 4.0" is the daily work with and in social media. A well-intentioned promotional post every 14 days is not enough. It requires a powerful appearance, which must not be limited to a static glossy homepage.
It is ultimately the proximity to the artist and the understanding of his needs, as well as the proximity to the collectors who are looking for high-quality art ... they are all on the web, but very few galleries.
And while newspaper publishers are slow to understand that good journalism has nothing to do with paper, mid-sized gallery owners are also beginning to understand that art distribution needs more than glossy rooms.
Peter Hofmann, Februar 2020